All That Music & Video announces more Record Store Day 2013 details in the upcoming issue of Fusion Magazine!
Stay tuned for more to come!
George Reynoso, owner of All That Music & Video (ATMV) in El Paso, Texas, opened his first record store, Nostalgia Records, in 1980. Since that time, he and his business, now known as All That Music & Video “Collector’s Marketplace,” have survived extreme changes in technology and the retail music market. ATMV recently moved to a new location, and as a result of interest among young enthusiasts and collectors, vinyl LPs, which were popular when Reynoso first entered the business, are once again an important format for selling and listening to music. On April 20, 2013, ATMV will join record stores from throughout the United States in celebrating Record Store Day. Reynoso discusses the changes that ATMV has undergone, and talks about the evolution of Record Store Day, which celebrates record stores and vinyl LPs as American cultural icons.
Why should Record Store Day (RSD) matter to the average music enthusiast?
When the first RSD was launched in 2007, I was concerned about consumer perception of the event. I felt it was a bit contrived and might make stores like ours look desperate. For that reason, we let the day lapse without any hoopla or participation. By 2009, our own customers were asking us if we would be stocking certain items for RSD. As it turned out, many major and developing artists were such big fans of the disappearing-independent-record-store and its culture, that they started releasing limited-edition recordings made exclusively for the retail benefit of independents. Wal-Mart, Best-Buy or giant corporate operators are not invited to participate in RSD. So the day has now turned into more of a celebration for all fans, artists, and businesses involved in the fragile and changing music marketplace.
How big is Record Store Day now?
If I recall correctly, the first RSD had a less than 20-item list of vinyl exclusive-releases by a limited number of artists. The number has increased steadily ever since. This year, we were offered a pre-sale list of over 300 items. Of course, it’s impossible to stock them all, so we’ve ordered small quantities of several hundred items and larger amounts of the well-publicized artists and highly-anticipated releases. The problem is that the demand for those releases has become so great, that our orders are now rationed. For instance, we may request 20 units of one item, but may only receive three. For that reason, we as retailers have been asked to sign a pledge not to auction RSD exclusives on the internet or to engage in unfair practices on behalf of consumers. A list of this year’s exclusive-releases can be found at www.recordstoreday.com
Specifically, what does ATMV have planned this year for RSD ?
The organizers of RSD allow participating stores to do their own thing. The main attraction will be the allure of the RSD limited-releases which create frenzy. Because the sale of the exclusive items is on a first-come, first-served basis, we encourage customers with an eye on these items to come early. By the time we open early for the day at 9 a.m., there’s always already a line to get in. As if the exclusive-releases were not enough of an attraction, all LP Vinyl will be 10%-off all day. We will also have hourly drawings for some very sweet and special CD & LP Box sets to be announced. If we fall short of items, we’ll give away $100 dollar gift cards. To make it fair and to give all of our customers an equal chance to win, ballot-stuffing will not be allowed and the box will be cleared out after each drawing once-an-hour on the hour. Details for the day will be posted at the website www.allthatmusic.com before Saturday April 20th.
It’s been exactly one-year since you made your big relocation from your former Lee Trevino store. Has it gone as you expected?
What’s the present status of the store?
Yes and no. I knew the disruption caused by relocation would be difficult, but I didn’t expect that it would take nearly a year to settle-in. After a year of unexpected needs, expenses, and delays related to retail space, fixtures, & technology issues, I am happy to report the worst is behind us and we’re finally getting some traction. This was truly like starting over again. Our eastside customer base was quite inconvenienced by the move, and some of them never got the notice that we were moving. They’ve come back, although not with the same frequency, but we’ve compensated by picking up a lot of new business from every other part of town. Like I tell people, our new location exposes us to a larger universe of available specialty music shoppers that would never have discovered us on Lee Trevino. Word is starting to get around, and especially outside of El Paso, about this great fun record store on I-10. We’re now focused on our content. We’re evaluating every piece of inventory in every category, which means we’re marking-down or filling-in gaps where necessary. I want to make sure our product is fresh, vibrant and relevant to our marketplace. Additionally, we’re racing to reconfigure our LP Vinyl area to better accommodate our increased supply of vintage and 180-gram vinyl. We will be ready for Record Store Day.
What is your long-term plan or vision for ATMV?
I started the store as Nostalgia Records on Montana Avenue 33 years ago in 1980. Since then, we’ve adapted to the constant changes in entertainment media from 45s & LPs, to cassettes, to CD’s, DVDs, Blu-Ray and the digital download. Most independent operators didn’t make it. I’m fortunate that we survived and our latest business model is right back to where we started 33 years ago, with LPs. I am so relieved to see that there is a changing tide back to tangible media. Younger consumers in particular are now clamoring for physical media from their favorite artists. Of course, it is not the same volume business of 15 years ago. Today’s consumers are more discriminating and are true enthusiasts of the audio or the artist. The branding of our “Collector’s Marketplace” slogan should serve us well for years to come.
Wrap it up with some closing thoughts.
I just want to thank our core customers for their continued support and patronage. I don’t want to appear boastful, as I want our success to be organic and honest, but I’m just really proud and truly grateful that our community has a store that is so highly regarded especially outside of El Paso. I believe the store will evolve into a regional tourism destination for collectors of recorded music. We already see a steady flow of new and regular customers who make the store a “must-stop” destination during their trips to El Paso. Not one day goes by without some out-of-towner giving us heartfelt positive feedback about our store. You can never be “hip enough” for some critics, but I’ve had several customers from Austin tell me that we have a nicer store than anything available there. I’ve had people from Albuquerque and Chicago tell me the same, and it’s all honest and unsolicited. For me, that is confirmation that we’re on the right track.